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Neighbors Hold Anti-Violence March, Vigil After Similar Shootings Of Two Young Girls

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Community activists in Little Village are speaking out after the deadly shooting of 8-year-old Melissa Ortega. They're also honoring another little girl. She was shot in Little Village two years ago while trick or treating with her dad.

Fortunately that little girl survived, but the memory of her trauma still shakes the community.

The similarity between the shootings is eerie.

Less than a mile from where a vigil was held Saturday is where 7-year-old Gissel Zamago was shot in the chest and neck two years ago and survived. Last week Melissa was shot in the head and died.

Both were shot due to gang violence. Both were walking with a parent.

"A little girl was just happy to wear her costume, come out for treats, and she gets a bullet," said Baltazar Enriquez of the Little Village Community Council. "This is the traume that we have in Little Village. This is the violence that we have in Little Village."

In 2019 Gisselle was trick or treating on Halloween along 26th Street near Lawndale Avenue. At the time, Gisselle was innocently dressed as a ladybug, walking with her father and siblings. Community members say they are no longer in the neighborhood.

"Why wouldn't you. This would be reminded that you got almost killed at that corner. So I think that's part of the reason why families move out of Little Village because of the crime," said Enriquez.

Satruday, members of the Little Village community gathered together to conduct a anti-violence march, starting off with a prayer vigil near 26th and Kedzie.

"We're here because we cannot be silenced. We're hurting as a community," said Enriquez.

So CBS 2 asked, what else needs to happen besides a march for peace? They said they're asking for legislation. They want it to be a law that if someone buys a gun, the bullets will be expensive, hoping to cut down crime in Chicago.

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